luxury swiss watchmaker ulysse nardin has teamed up with celebrated italian erotic comic book artist milo manara to create a series of ten erotic watches. the collection was unveiled for the first time at SIHH 2019 — the prestigious international watch show held in geneva, switzerland. the limited edition timepieces tell a mythical sea story where ulyssa, a mermaid, and nadia, a woman, meet, discover, and love each other beneath the waves.
all images and video courtesy of ulysse nardin
‘based on manara’s illustrations of underwater encounters between a hauntingly beautiful woman and a mythical mermaid, the watches are a palindrome, each one a unique, timeless moment that exists independently from the other,’ says ulysse nardin. using micro painting, and over 150 years of knowledge and experience, the luxury watchmaker transferred milo manara’s original story onto ten watch faces in a series presented at geneva’s SIHH watch show.
the collection was unveiled for the first time at SIHH 2019
the ten images tell the story of a mermaid and a human who meet and engage tenderly under the watchful eye of a distant shark. ‘the clock lends itself particularly precisely to this theme because in eroticism there is eternity,’ explains milo manara, an italian graphic illustrator who has been working for over 50 years. for this series of watches, manara chose a universal theme — erotic love — and created characters that exist in their own time frame.
the images tell the erotic story of ulyssa, a mermaid, and nadia, a woman
‘I had to think of a theme that brings all these ten images together and yet leaves each one its autonomy, so that it works on its own without the need for the others,’ adds manara. ‘this is not a linear story but there is a common thread based on two characters; one is a timeless girl and the other, a mermaid. it is clear that these women represent an ideal. if we look at greek classicism and the renaissance, one can see that the morphology of the physical model has changed over the centuries. I see my work as a continuous reinterpretation of the ideal model.’
comic book artist milo manara illustrated ten individual images for the series
high in the swiss mountains, artisans at the ulysse nardin headquarters in le locle worked to miniaturize each of manara’s drawings on the watch dials — a surface which is roughly ten times smaller than the original water color images. incredibly, each face was patiently painted by hand using a brush the width of a single eyelash. ten pieces per drawing will be produced in stainless steel and ten pieces in rose gold, making the series limited to a mere 200 pieces in total.
manara began by sketching out his concept for the collection
powered by the UN-320 self-winding manufacture movement and beating at the rhythm of silicium technology — which ulysse nardin has mastered for decades — only the hours and minutes are displayed in order to leave a maximum amount of space on the watch faces for the drawings. the hands are discreet, leaving the drawings to star on the face of each watch. these classico manara in 40 mm will be set on dark blue alligator straps to align with the color tonality dictated by manara. as a special gift from ulysse nardin, each watch purchase will be accompanied by an original numbered milo manara print, signed by the artist himself.
manara’s studio is located in valpolicella, northern italy
‘the clock lends itself particularly precisely to this theme because in eroticism there is eternity’, says manara
artisans at the ulysse nardin HQ worked to miniaturize each of manara’s drawings
the watch dials are roughly ten times smaller than the original water color images
each face was painted by hand using a brush the width of a single eyelash
the series is limited to a mere 200 pieces in total
illustration by milo manara (1/10)
illustration by milo manara (2/10)
illustration by milo manara (3/10)
illustration by milo manara (4/10)
illustration by milo manara (5/10)
illustration by milo manara (6/10)
illustration by milo manara (7/10)
illustration by milo manara (8/10)
illustration by milo manara (9/10)
illustration by milo manara (10/10)
manufacturer: ulysse nardin
3203-136LE-2/MANARA.01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10
3202-136LE-2/MANARA.01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10
movement: calibre UN-320
functions: hours, minutes, self-winding movement
power reserve: 48 hours
case: steel case or 5N rose gold
diameter: 40 mm
dial: milo manara’s drawings, micro-painting
water resistance: 30 m
case back: sapphire crystal glass
strap: dark blue alligator straps
world prices: stainless steel: $26,900 USD, rose gold: $34,400 USD
SIHH 2019 (7 articles)
timepiece design (285 articles)
a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.
the installation showcases his vision of a home in 2035 along with three spin-off products that were developed in conjunction with the show.
designboom attended the ribbon cutting of the newest sir hotel in barcelona which takes inspiration from the city, the sea and its surrounding mountains.
the 3 plastic carriers are emblazoned with embarrassing slogans including 'into the weird adult video emporium' and 'dr. toews wart ointment wholesale.'
are you knowledgeable about architecture, design, art, and technology? passionate about writing and digital media? then we want to hear from you!